I’m a builder… these are the horrors people miss when buying a house & the item you should always take with you


A BUILDER has revealed the mistakes homebuyers make ahead of purchasing a house – and shared the tool he says should be taken to every viewing.

John Sale, from Stoke-on-Trent, issued a warning to anyone taking the plunge into buying property to pay major attention to the outside of the home.

John, who works as a consultant for Fenton-based HYPE Building, shares videos on YouTube about the little-known hazards a home can be harbouring without new buyers realising.

His tricks on how to prevent damp and what to look out for when building a house extension have proven popular.

But his advice to others on how to check for problems around a home’s exterior could save homebuyers from forking out cash for the wrong house.

John says anyone seriously considering to put in an offer should take a builder with them.

In an example, he goes around a home and finds little hints of issues which could lead to bigger problems.

He says: “Using a spirit level and a builder’s eye, these are some of the problems that I’ve found.”

“We’ve got some signs, on all the corners, of cracks.

“That’s telling me there’s obviously a problem high up, so I’ve checked out the roof and had a look at the property all the way round and I’ve seen that there’s gaps between the wall and the soffit boards.

“The brickwork is terrible.”

He says loose cement and hairline cracks can be a “giveaway” when assessing what condition a property is in.

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to know a builder who they can take along to viewings.

That’s why it’s really important to get a home survey done – you never know what the hidden problems are unless you get it checked out.

There are different types of surveys, and which one you choose will depend on your budget and the level of detail you want.

A basic survey may cost just a couple of hundred pounds, but won’t investigate the structure of the property.

A Homebuyers report is the middle tier and gives more insight into the condition of the property, flagging any causes for concern.

A full structural survey is the most expensive, and can cost around £1,500, but is recommended for older properties or fixer-uppers which may have bigger issues hidden away.

Everyone makes mistakes – but when you’re buying a home, they can cost you thousands of pounds.

There are steps you can take to add thousands onto the value of your home.

A building survey costs £500 or more, and it is an extensive check of the state of the property – it will also provide advice on repairs, estimated costs and timings, and what will happen if you don’t carry out the repairs. 

New buyers are also urged to be aware of asbestos, check your contract and rely on your solicitor.

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